Historical Gaelic harp come and try!
Sat 10th September, 2pm,
Come and have a go at playing a medieval clarsach, in Dundee’s Wighton Centre, upstairs in the Central Library.
The old Gaelic harp of Scotland and Ireland is very different and much more ancient than the modern clarsach or Celtic harp you might be more familiar with. The ancient clarsach was shared between Ireland and Scotland from medieval times down to the 18th century.
The best known examples are iconic museum exhibits: the famous Brian Boru harp displayed in Trinity College Dublin, and the beautiful Queen Mary harp in the National Museum in Edinburgh. The Brian Boru harp is shown on the Guinness label!
Historical Gaelic harps are rare, and are hardly ever heard nowadays. Simon Chadwick is a historical musician and a leading authority in the old Scottish and Irish harp traditions, and he will bring beautiful historic replicas of the ancient harps into Dundee for this come-and-try session.
Simon, an inspiring teacher, leads a regular harp class in the Wighton Centre in Dundee, and there are now spaces for new participants and harps available to rent. So come along on Saturday 10th to explore the oldest strands of Scottish and Irish music.
The Friends of Wighton group will welcome the Scottish Traditional Music Awards to Dundee by inviting visiting and local music lovers to take a close-up look at the fascinating Wighton Collection and enjoy a live music sessionat the same time.
The Centre will be open from 2pm to 5pm on Friday 4th December and from 10am -12.15pm on Saturday 5th December. Books will be on display and Wighton tutors and committee members will be there to sing, play and answer questions!
The Wighton Heritage Centre was opened on 24th November 2003. Located upstairs in Dundee Central Library, it provides a dedicated space for the storage and display of the internationally important Wighton Collection. 700 volumes of old Scottish music were collected together in the early 19th century by Dundee merchant Andrew Wighton, and were bequeathed to the city after his death.
The Wighton books with other donations and acquisitions, are now kept in glass-fronted bookcases in the Wighton Centre. The Centre also acts as a bright, atmospheric performance and study centre, allowing scholars to access the riches of the collection, and providing a lovely performance space for music and other events.
As well as a monthly Cappuccino Concert, and a free Wednesday lunchtime recital every month, the Friends of Wighton run classes in traditional Scottish music every week: Scots song, Gaelic song, fiddle, whistle and clarsach (Scottish harp).
The Friends also work towards the conservation and cataloguing of the collection of books, and have made some important acquisitions to add to the collection. They are currently fundraising to conserve rare music books from the collection of Sir Jimmy Shand and visitors will be able to contribute. Jimmy’s musical taste was exemplary, as shown by the lovely 18th and 19th century manuscripts in his collection. Rumour has it that one or two of the Shand books, currently not on public display, might make an appearance at the Open Days!